Young talent on show in music contest

  • On Stage

  • Judges Heather Nova, Gita Blakeney Saltus and Sheila Smith flanked Massassi Maxwell-Smith, who took top place in the second annual Bermuda Festival On Stage Competition earlier this year (Photograph supplied)

    Judges Heather Nova, Gita Blakeney Saltus and Sheila Smith flanked Massassi Maxwell-Smith, who took top place in the second annual Bermuda Festival On Stage Competition earlier this year (Photograph supplied)


Performances by ten young people won them the chance to showcase their talents in the next round of a music and singing contest.

They will take part in the On Stage competition as part of the Bermuda Festival in February.

Vocalists Dakota Tucker, Eliza Olander, Jayden Coleman, Mayah Williams, Oliver Cherry and Shardae Lee were among the successful contenders.

They will be joined at the Ruth Seaton James Auditorium in Devonshire by India Shrinarine on the flute, Jack Kyme and Justin Ebbin, both on saxophone, and Robin-Valana Pearman on the steel pan drums.

Gita Blakeney-Saltus, the deputy chairwoman of the Bermuda Festival board, said: “Acting as a judge for the Bermuda Festival On Stage Competition last year was sheer joy, as it allowed me the opportunity to witness the vast array of remarkable talent of our young people in the realm of music.

“I am looking forward to participating in the same capacity for the upcoming event, which I am certain will make our job once again both challenging and rewarding.

“All of our contestants are winners.”

Videos of performances by 37 acts were submitted for judges to review.

They selected 20 to take part in the second round at the Bermuda School of Music on Sunday[Dec 8].

Heather Nova, whose singer-songwriter contest will run alongside the On Stage competition on February 25, was on the judging panel with fellow singers Sheila Smith and Ms Blakeney-Saltus.

They were joined by guest judges John Woolridge, a musician and producer, Kent Hayward, the Bermuda School of Music executive director, and Lamont Robinson, a lead singer in Working Title Band.

David Skinner, the Bermuda Festival chairman, said: “It is gratifying to see the growth in the On Stage competition since its inception in 2017.

“We are delighted at the level of interest shown by the number of students who have registered for auditions, and we wish all of them the best of luck.

“At the festival, we believe that helping our young people develop an appreciation for the performing arts is mission critical for a well rounded education.

“For those whose creative energy leads them to want to perform we are happy to provide an outlet for their talent.

“We are extremely grateful to Aspen Bermuda Limited who have been the title sponsor of the On Stage event from the beginning.

“We encourage all of Bermuda to come out for a fantastic showcase of talented young Bermudian musicians and singers on February 25, 2020 at the Ruth Seaton James Centre for the Performing Arts.”

Aspen Bermuda said it was pleased to continue its support of the competition.

A spokeswoman added: “As an organisation that supports creativity and the arts within our Bermuda community, Aspen’s partnership with the festival helps to bring our Bermuda youth in the spotlight to share their incredible talent for residents and visitors to enjoy.

“We wish the festival much success in 2020.”

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Published Dec 10, 2019 at 9:21 am (Updated Dec 10, 2019 at 9:22 am)

Young talent on show in music contest

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